In vitro anti-cancer effects of artemisone nano-vesicular formulations on melanoma cells

Anupma Dwivedi, Anisha Mazumder, Lissinda du Plessis, Jan L. du Preez, Richard K. Haynes, Jeanetta du Plessis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

82 Citations (Scopus)


Artemisone is a 10-amino-artemisinin derivative that is markedly superior in vitro and in vivo to current artemisinins against malaria and also possesses antitumor activity. In seeking to capitalise on the last property, we have examined the encapsulation of artemisone in nano-vesicular niosomes and solid lipid nanoparticles, and have evaluated efficacies of the free and encapsulated artemisone against human melanoma A-375 cells and effects on human keratinocytes (HaCaT). Artemisone is successfully encapsulated into the nano-vesicles with encapsulation efficiencies of 67 ± 6% and 79 ± 5%, and with average particle sizes being 211 ± 10 nm and 295 ± 18 nm respectively. The formulations displayed highly selective cytotoxicity towards the melanoma cells with negligible toxicity towards the normal skin cells. The artemisone-loaded nano-vesicles almost completely inhibited the melanoma cells compared to the free drug. The results overall suggest a potentially more useful therapeutic strategy that needs to be evaluated for the treatment of melanoma and other cancers. From the Clinical Editor: Apart from being an effective anti-malarial drug, a surprising action of artemisone also has antitumor activity. Nonetheless, its low water solubility and bioavailability has limited its clinical use. In this article, the authors enacapsulated artemisone in nano- vesicles and solid lipid nano-particles (SLNs). In-vitro studies confirmed the selective cytotoxicity towards melanoma cells. Further in-vivo and pre-clinical studies are awaited.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2041-2050
Number of pages10
JournalNanomedicine: Nanotechnology, Biology, and Medicine
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2015


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